So the Bible is quite clear in proclaiming that God is a gracious God. But the implication of this truth extends to God’s people. Since the Lord is merciful and gracious, we should then be gracious in our dealings with one another. Remember, we are made in His image and He seeks to form His character in us. According to the testimony of the Scriptures, God’s goal is to form Christ in you. So if He is a gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love, then He will want to form that same spirit in His people.
And the biblical focus here is specifically ons peaking words of grace. We find much instruction on this in the Proverbs.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but gracious words are pure.Proverbs 15:26
One commentator favors this translation for the final part of the verse: “Kind words are clean.” The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord — which is language borrowed from the sacrificial system. This essentially means these thoughts are an unacceptable sacrifice to the Lord. But kind and gracious words are the kinds of offerings that bring God much delight. Gracious words are pure. Kind words are clean in the sight of the Lord. This proverb highlights the importance of a sanctified way of speaking, language that brings honor to God.
This same wisdom is echoed in the New Testament.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.Colossians 4:6
This is the same idea from the Proverbs: gracious speech is kind and filled with goodwill toward others. I like the way one commentator translates this verse: “Let your speech be always with the graciousness appropriate to Christians, i.e., those who live in a state of grace.”
Does our speech reflect that we live in a state of grace? Going back to Ephesians 4:32, does our speech reflect kindness and tenderheartedness and forgiveness?